Tag Archives: DeNovo

Innovation: Solutions From… Elsewhere

Insurance is the industry most affected by disruptive change, according to the percentage of CEOs who are extremely concerned about the threats to their growth prospects from the speed of technological change, changing customer behavior and competition from new market entrants.

Insurers know they need to innovate to remain competitive. In fact, 67% of insurance respondents to PwC’s 2017 CEO Survey see creativity and innovation as very important to their organizations, ahead of other financial services sectors and the CEO Survey population as a whole. And, insurance CEOs noted that the area they would most like to strengthen to capitalize on growth opportunities is digital and technological capabilities, followed by customer experience (reflecting the connections between the two).

However, the industry’s traditional conservatism and the dizzying pace of technological change has made it difficult to change. As a result, most insurers are looking outside the industry – typically in the insurtech space (e.g., drones, sensors, internet of things (IoT)) – for the best ways to improve their systems, processes and products. And there is no doubt that industry stakeholders think insurtech has real promise: Annual investment in insurtech startups has increased fivefold over the past three years, with cumulative funding reaching $3.4 billion since 2010, based on the companies that PwC’s DeNovo platform follows.

See also: What Is the Right Innovation Process?  

To facilitate a diverse approach to identifying opportunities and potential partners from different industries and specialty areas, an enterprise innovation model (EIM) is table stakes. An EIM facilitates:

  • New product and service development: Being active in insurtech can help insurers discover emerging coverage needs and risks that require new insurance products and services. As a result, they can improve their product portfolio strategy and design of new risk models.
  • Market exploration and discovery: Prescient insurers actively monitor new trends and innovations, and some have even established a presence in innovation hotspots (e.g., Silicon Valley) where they can directly learn about the latest developments in real-time and initiate innovation programs.
  • Partnerships that drive new solutions: Exploration typically leads to the development of potential use cases that address specific business challenges. Insurers can partner with startups to build pilots to test and deploy in the market.
  • Contributions to insurtech’s growth and development: As we describe below, venture capital and incubator programs can play an important role in key innovation efforts. Established insurers that clearly identify areas of need and opportunity can work with startups to develop appropriate solutions.

Most insurers are looking outside the industry for the best ways to improve their systems, processes and products.

Maintaining awareness, influencing the market and identifying the right partners

To ensure an organization’s innovation efforts are in sync with – or even driving – the latest developments in the market, an EIM needs a formalized yet agile process for identifying and incorporating best practices.

Dedicated assessment of insurtech advancements can allow insurers to identify and promote best practices and key technologies. Moreover, maintaining a close connection with the insurtech market can help a company develop its external knowledge and relationships with innovators. Through this process, insurers can identify potential partners that can help them understand evolving technologies and their applications, and even contribute to developing the capabilities they desire.

With a deeper understanding of the market, capabilities and key players, insurers can be better positioned to facilitate innovation, ideation and design. While some fintech companies already have compelling insurance applications, insurers have a great opportunity to identify and design new potential use cases.

Fast prototyping is key to quickly creating minimally viable products (MVP) and bringing ideas to life. Early-stage startups develop and deploy full-functioning prototypes in near real time and go to market with solutions that evolve with market feedback. The development cycle is shortened, which allows startups to quickly deliver solutions and tailor future releases based on usage trends and feedback and to accommodate more diverse needs. Established insurers can follow the same approach or can partner with existing startups that have a MVP to help them to move to the next stage, scaling.

The ways to accomplish all of this vary based on how the organization plans to source new opportunities and ideas, how it plans on executing innovation and how it plans to deploy new products and services. The following graphic provides examples of EIMs by primary function.

The innovation center

The innovation center (also named “lab” or “hub”) is a structure at a corporate level that bridges external innovation with business unit needs and innovation opportunities. It relies on internal subject matter experts and innovation champions to ignite and drive innovation initiatives at a business unit level. With this model, innovative new products and services go to market under the company’s brand.

The innovation hub provides an outside-in view while promoting innovation internally. With this model, the company dedicates a team to constantly monitor trends and market activity, build and maintain relationships with key insurtech players, identify potential future scenarios and determine new partnership opportunities.

The hub should be managed through business units to effectively innovate (i.e., building prototypes and scaling models). Execution is a key success factor, and we recommend insurers consider complementary innovation models to help promote positive outcomes.

Regardless of the model they use, we recommend that insurers of all sizes consider developing an innovation center and create an external connection based on potential future scenarios.

The incubator

An incubator can drive innovation from idea to end product by identifying new opportunities and developing related solutions. Although it does require a significant investment of both money and resources, it has proven especially effective in addressing complex problems and devising new approaches to them.

Although the incubator can be internal, external structures typically create unique development environments and attract necessary talent. Via an external approach, ideas come mostly from outside the company and a panel of internal or external innovation specialists provide high-level guidance and approval for the innovation the company is seeking through the incubator.

Although the incubator initially drives innovation, business units typically become involved during the development process. They have an important role, especially when planning to deploy new solutions within the organization. The incubator can wind up as a start-up that can go to the market under its own name.

One of the main strengths of the incubator model is that it facilitates execution. It holds an idea until a prototype is developed and a minimally viable product is available. The gradual involvement of business units during the process enables the model to adequately scale. Upon adoption by its future owner, the incubator and business units can address any related challenges related to operating capacity, cyber risk, regulation and other issues.

Strategic venture capital (SVC)

The SVC model offers the opportunity to participate via stake or acquisition in relevant insurtech-related players. This is a way to influence and shape the development of specific startups (e.g. pushing them to solve specific problems) and acquire key capabilities and talent, and as a way to derive value from strategic investments.

In the SVC model, the company establishes a new ventures division, which sources ideas from the outside. The company provides funding and support for equity, while a SVC from this new structure explores, identities and evaluates solutions and markets new ventures under its own brand. The funds thatSVC invests in a startup help new players augment their capabilities and scale their business model. This could lead to potential market joint ventures, acquisitions or other deals to monetize the initial investment.

Established insurers with SVC arms are usually leaders in specific market segments and therefore leverage their experience and knowledge to select key ventures. To become more active with insurtech, these structures can be linked to innovation centers, thereby allowing companies to connect ventures with business units.

Instead of choosing one model over the other, we propose one that combines key elements from each. Companies can select elements based on their need for external innovation, the availability of talent, their ability to execute and the amount of investment the organization is willing to commit.

EIM operating options

EIM operating characteristics

Bridging the cultural divide

Complicating the need to innovate is the fact that an insurer’s culture often influences an external company’s decision about partnering with it. In fact, according to our 2016 Global
FinTech Survey, more than half of fintechs see differences in management and culture as a key challenge in working with insurers. Insurers also realize this, and 45% of insurance companies agree that this is a major challenge.

See also: How to Create a Culture of Innovation  

Accordingly, insurers will need to assess the availability and compatibility of existing resources and determine how and where they can find what may not currently be available. By clearly articulating the organization’s needs, defining explicit roles and establishing a model for enterprise innovation, an insurer can address any underlying concerns it may have about partnerships.

While insurers can create internal structures to support innovation, most of them will have to enlist external resources in one way or another. In fact, we expect many talented professionals without insurance-specific skills will be the ones who wind up driving innovation.

Attracting and developing innovators

Insurers can create internal structures to support innovation, but – as EIMs stipulate – success ultimately depends on having the right talent. And, most insurers will have to enlist external resources – ones who have an entrepreneurial mindset and who are well-connected to insurtech – in one way or another.

How does a company attract and retain this kind of talent? There are four primary ways:

  • Acquire the new talent from start-ups. This works well if the acquired company keeps running its business under its own start-up rules, away from the acquirer’s bureaucracy. Otherwise, if there is too much acquirer interference, then retention will be a challenge in a market that covets innovators.
  • Attract the talent directly from the market. This option typically requires a new mindset from the hiring company in terms of business role, work environment and even location. Establishing a presence in relevant innovation hotspots will help make an offer more attractive, facilitate external connections and demonstrate the insurer’s commitment to letting innovators be free to innovate.
  • Partner with startups, technology vendors, universities, researchers and other proven innovators. This option represents a major opportunity because it enables the insurer to create the connections to and formal partnerships with new talent. However, while identifying desired capabilities is relatively easy, there will need to be strong alignment of purpose between the organization and the new partners for the relationship to work. In this case, the Innovation Hub should be the most helpful model.
  • Grow the talent. This option is probably the least disruptive because it doesn’t require external changes. Large organizations have the opportunity to discover talent within their structures. But, the organization will have to ascertain and leverage the mentality and professional background of employees in many different ways. Gamification, internal collaboration groups and other resources can help in the search for potential in-house innovators, but most companies will need a more sophisticated staffing model to develop this talent (e.g., having specific development plans and offering “external” experiences in projects and with partners).

Complementing these options is the insurance industry leadership’s advocacy of new methods to foster change in employee skill sets. According to insurance respondents to PwC’s 2017 CEO Survey,

  • 61% are exploring the benefits of humans and machines working together (considerably higher than any other FS sector), and
  • 49% are considering the impact of artificial intelligence on future skills needs (also considerably higher than any other FS sector).

Implications

In response to this rapidly changing environment, incumbent insurers are approaching insurtech in various ways, prominently through joint partnerships or startup programs. But whatever strategy an organization pursues, insurtech’s main impact will be new business models that create challenges for market players and other industry stakeholders (e.g., regulators). In this environment, insurers will need to move away from trying to control all parts of their value chain and customer experience through traditional business models, and instead move toward leveraging their trusted relationships with customers and their extensive access to client data.

For many traditional insurers, this approach will require a fundamental shift in identity and purpose. The new norm will involve turning away from a linear product push approach, to a customer-centric model in which insurers are facilitators of a service that enables clients to acquire advice and interact with all relevant actors through multiple channels. By focusing on incorporating new technologies into their own architecture, traditional insurers can prepare themselves to play a central role in the new world in which they will operate at the center of customer activity and maintain strong positions even as innovations alter the marketplace.

To effectively develop these new business models and capabilities and establish mutually beneficial insurtech relationships, established insurers will need to start with a well-thought-out innovation strategy that incorporates the following:

  • An effective enterprise innovation model (EIM) will take into account the different ways to meet an organization’s various needs and help it make innovative breakthroughs. The model or combination of models that is most suitable for an organization will depend on its innovation appetite, the type of partnerships it desires and the capabilities it needs. EIMs feature three primary approaches to support corporate strategy, partnering via innovation centers (or hubs), building capabilities via incubators and buying capabilities via a strategic ventures division. Companies can select elements from each of these models based on their need for external innovation, the availability of talent, their ability to execute and the amount of investment the organization is willing to commit.
  • Even though insurers can create the internal structures that support innovation, most of them will have to enlist external resources in one way or another. Accordingly, they will need to assess the availability and compatibility of existing talent and determine how and where they can find what may not currently be available. Much like with enterprise innovation models, there are certain ways (often in combination) that insurers can locate and obtain the resources they need, including acquiring it, trying to attract it, partnering and growing it internally.

How to Turn ‘Inno-va-SHUN’ Into Innovation

No industry has been witness to as many changes in the business world as insurance. Paradoxically, the insurance industry has remained (relatively) the same operationally. However, it can no longer turn a blind eye to the change rapidly occurring around and within insurance. The need of the hour is not “inno-va-shun”— shying away from necessary change. It is a straightforward pursuit of real innovation, the combination of modernization and creativity that will capture business and keep it.

Unfortunately, our minds have conjured up thoughts around innovation that make it seem like more of a hurdle than it actually is. We may harbor futuristic, expensive, technologically impossible notions around the term. But innovation, stripped of all the hype and abstractness associated with it, is simply a survival tool that will foster competitiveness and growth. There is little mystery involved, and there is much opportunity for payoff to the business. In some cases, becoming innovative is as simple as lifting off traditional constraints. Experts within and outside of insurance are centered on constraint removal, asking, “What is the shortest path from unmet insurance needs to insurance sales?” This has sparked an investment frenzy.

InsurTech, (a variant of Fintech) is focused on innovation and investments in insurance, and it is growing by leaps and bounds. CB Insights reports a figure of $2.65 billion in InsurTech investment for 2015, representing 350% growth over 2014 investments.  According to PwC’s survey based on companies included in their DeNovo platform, funding of Fintech start-ups more than doubled in 2015, reaching $12.2 billion, up 118% from $5.6 billion in 2014.

Cutting-edge InsurTech and Fintech companies are forcing insurers to take a radically different look at the competitive landscape. There is an increasing awareness by insurers of this change, reflected in a PwC report indicating that 74% of insurance companies identified their own industry as the one part of the financial services sector that will most likely be disrupted by FinTech over the next five years.

So what innovation is happening in insurance?  Is it all about hiring a set of experienced contrarians, providing them with a fertile environment, lots of time and space and access to unlimited funds to come up with an assembly line of  “the next” ideas that will radically transform the insurance industry? That sounds exciting. Who wouldn’t want their own highly funded insurance incubator?

See also: How to Plant in the Greenfields  

The truth is far more prosaic. Innovation in insurance is not just restricted to developing new solutions and technologies or products and services but it is grounded in the consistent development of new offerings, channels and business models to reach and expand in existing and newer markets. It is the building of the next-generation insurance operation that will work as the world changes.

Rather than wait for transformation of the existing business, insurers are looking to innovate, reinvent and create new business models to operate and succeed in a new business paradigm. The time is ripe to experiment and be part of the disruption unfolding, rather than being left by the wayside

Helping fuel the innovation is an array of new partnerships, accelerators, incubators and innovation labs within the industry and individual companies. They are creating solutions, products, services and business models, de novo options – de novo, from the Latin expression meaning “from the beginning,” “afresh,” “anew,” “beginning again.”

And it is not just new capital backing de novo models. Existing traditional insurers are investing into their own greenfields, start-ups and incubators. They are launching new companies and business models to reach new market segments and introduce new products and services. They are carefully building and maintaining the new efforts outside of the traditional brand, distribution channels and business operations to keep the new efforts out from under traditional constraints. There is a wide array of experimentation and de novo options happening within insurance companies to respond to these challenges by generating opportunities.

But to do so, these insurers need a “platform solution” that will enable agility, innovation and speed, not unlike platform solutions that have powered de novo options in other industries. Fundamental to the platform is the need for low IT costs because investment must be focused on the business, products and channels, not in the capital and operational expenditures for the traditional bricks and mortar infrastructure. An insurance cloud platform can be the differentiating and critical enabler.

See also: InsurTech: Golden Opportunity to Innovate  

New platforms need to go beyond the core insurance solution to include ready-to-use, pre-built content, data sources, channel options and best practices that can jump start the business. An ĵacceptable timeframe would be weeks to months, instead of the years that many business transformation projects require.

The insurance industry is quickly realizing the need for innovation. It is not a question of when … but how soon one innovates. New insurance companies, MGAs, underwriting firms and others are incubating new products, new business models and new channels and reaching new market segments. The unprecedented number of new endeavors is a clear indication of this phenomenon. Yet, too many insurers are locked into legacy core systems or engaged in multi-year legacy transformation programs, limiting their ability to innovate and experiment with de novo options.

Rather than waiting, insurers should aggressively seek to leverage a “platform solution” as outlined in the Majesco report, Greenfields, Startups and Incubators: Innovation in Insurance Products, Channels, Services and Business Models. Experimenting and innovating today will prepare insurers for tomorrow’s opportunities.

One cannot but agree with Rob Siltanen when he said,

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

How are you preparing to change your world — the world of insurance?

FinTech: Epicenter of Disruption (Part 4)

This is the final part of a four-part series. The first article is here. The second is here. The third is here.

FinTech is more than technology. It is a cultural mindset. Companies hoping to flourish need to shift their thinking to better meet customer needs, constantly track technological developments, aggressively engage with external partners and integrate digitization into their corporate DNA. To fully leverage the potential of FinTech, financial institutions (FIs) should have a top-down approach and embrace new technologies in every aspect of their businesses.

Putting FinTech at the heart of the strategy

The majority of our respondents (60%) put FinTech at the heart of their strategy. In particular, a high number of CEOs agree with this approach (78%), supporting the integration of FinTech at the top levels of management. Advances in technology and communication, combined with the acceleration of data growth, empower customers at nearly every level of engagement, making FinTech essential at all levels.

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Our survey supports this notion. Among the respondents that regard themselves as fully customer-centric, 77% put FinTech at the heart of their strategy, while, among respondents that see themselves as only slightly customer-centric, only 27% put FinTech at the same level. A smaller but still significant share of respondents disagrees with putting FinTech at the heart of their strategy (13%). This might be a business risk in the long run, as firms that do not recognize the impact of FinTech will face fierce competition from new entrants. As rivals become more innovative, incumbents might run the risk of being surpassed in their core business strengths.

The share of respondents from fund transfer and payments organizations that want to put FinTech at the heart of their strategy exceeds 80%, a high proportion compared with other sectors. At the other extreme are insurance and asset and wealth management companies, where, respectively, only 43% and 45% of respondents consider FinTech to be a core element of their strategy.

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Adopting a ‘mobile-first’ approach

Adopting a “mobile-first” approach is the key to improving customer experience. As Section 2 shows, the biggest trends in FinTech will be related to the multiple ways financial services (FS) engages with customers.

Traditional providers are increasingly taking a “mobile-first” approach to reach out to consumers (e.g. designing their products and services with the aim of enhancing customer engagement via mobile). More than half (52%) of the respondents in our survey offer a mobile application to their clients, and 18% are currently developing one. Banks, 81% of which offer mobile applications, are, increasingly, using these channels to deliver compelling value propositions, generate new revenue streams and collect data from customers. According to Bill Gates, in the year 2030, two billion new customers will use their mobile phones to save, lend and make payments.

Significant growth in clients using mobile applications is expected by 2020. While, currently, the majority of respondents (66%) contend that not more than 40% of their clients use their mobile applications, 61% believe that, over the next five years, more than 60% of their clients will be using mobile applications at least once a month to access financial services.

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Toward a more collaborative approach

Whether FS organizations adopt digital or mobile strategies, integrating FinTech is essential. According to our survey, the most widespread form of collaboration with FinTech companies is joint partnership (32%). Traditional FS organizations are not ready to go all-in and invest fully in FinTech. Joint partnership is an easy and flexible way to get involved with a technology firm and harness its capabilities within a safe test environment. By partnering with FinTech companies, incumbents can strengthen their competitive position and bring solutions or products into the market more quickly. Moreover, this is an effective way for both incumbents and FinTech companies to identify challenges and opportunities, as well as to gain a deeper understanding of how they complement one another.

Given the speed of technology development, incumbents cannot afford to ignore FinTech. Nevertheless, a significant minority—rather than a non-negligible share (25%)—of survey respondents do not interact with FinTech companies at all, which could lead to an underestimation of the potential benefits and threats they can bring. According to The Economist, the majority of bankers (54%) are either ignoring the challenge or are talking about disruption without making any changes. FinTech executives confirm this view: 59% of FinTech companies believe banks are not reacting to the disruption by FinTech.

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Integrating FinTech comes with challenges

A common challenge FinTech companies and incumbents face is regulatory uncertainty. FinTech represents a challenge to regulators, as there may be a risk of an uneven playing field between the FS and FinTech companies. In fact, 86% of FS CEOs are concerned about the impact of overregulation on their prospects for growth, making this the biggest threat to growth they face. However, the problems do not correspond to specific regulations but rather to ambiguity and confusion. Industry players are asking which regulatory agencies govern FinTech companies. Which rules do FinTech companies have to abide by? And, specifically, which FinTech companies have to adhere to which regulations? In particular, small players struggle to navigate a complex, ever-increasing regulatory compliance environment as they strive to define their compliance model. Recent years have brought an increase of regulations in the FS industry, where even long-standing players are struggling to keep up.

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While most FS providers and FinTech companies would agree that the regulatory environment poses serious challenges, there are differences of opinion on which are the most significant. For incumbents, IT security is crucial. This highlights the genuine constraints traditional FS organizations face regarding the introduction of new technologies into existing systems. On the other hand, fund transfer and payments businesses see their biggest challenges in the differences in operational processes and business models. The complexity of processes and emerging business models, as explained in Section 1, which aim to lead the payments industry into a new era, have the potential to both disrupt and complement traditional fund transfer and payments institutions. Their challenge lies in refining old methods while pioneering new processes to compete in the long run.

Just more than half of FinTech companies (54%) believe management and culture act as roadblocks in their dealings with FIs. Because FinTech companies are mainly smaller, they are more agile and flexible. And, because most are in the early stages of development, their structures and processes are not set in stone, allowing them to adapt more easily and quickly to challenges.

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Conclusion

Disruption of the FS industry is happening, and FinTech is the driver. It reshapes the way companies and consumers engage by altering how, when and where FS and products are provided. Success is driven by the ability to improve customer experience and meet changing customer needs.

Information on FinTech is somewhat dispersed and obscure, which can make synthesizing the data challenging. It is therefore critical to filter the noise around FinTech and focus on the most relevant trends, technologies and start-ups. To help industry players navigate the glut of material, we based our findings on DeNovo insights and the views of survey participants, highlighting key trends that will enhance customer experience, self-directed services, sophisticated data analytics and cyber security.

In response to this rapidly changing environment, incumbent financial institutions have approached FinTech in various ways, such as through joint partnerships or start-up programs. But whatever strategy an organization pursues, it cannot afford to ignore FinTech.

The main impact of FinTech will be the surge of new FS business models, which will create challenges for both regulators and market players. FS firms should turn away from trying to control all parts of their value chain and customer experience through traditional business models and instead move toward the center of the FinTech ecosystem by leveraging their trusted relationships with customers and their extensive access to client data.

For many traditional financial institutions, this approach will require a fundamental shift in identity and purpose. The new norm will involve turning away from a linear product-push approach to a customer-centric model in which FS providers are facilitators of a service that enables clients to acquire advice and interact with all relevant actors through multiple channels.

By focusing on incorporating new technologies into their own architecture, traditional financial institutions can prepare themselves to play a central role in the new FS world in which they will operate at the center of customer activity and maintain strong positions, even as innovations alter the marketplace.

FIs should make the most of their position of trust with customers, brand recognition, access to data and knowledge of the regulatory environment to compete. FS players might not recognize the financial industry of the future, but they will be in the center of it.

This post was co-written by: John Shipman, Dean Nicolacakis, Manoj Kashyap and Steve Davies.

FinTech: Epicenter of Disruption (Part 1)

It is difficult to imagine a world without the Internet or mobile devices. They have become core elements of our lifestyle and have brought a high degree of disruption to virtually every area of business. The financial services (FS) industry is no exception; the digital revolution is transforming the way customers access financial products and services. Although the sector has experienced a degree of change in recent years, the constant penetration of technology-driven applications in nearly every segment of FS is something new. At the intersection of finance and technology lies a phenomenon that has been accelerating the pace of change at a remarkable rate and is reshaping the industry’s status quo—it is called FinTech.

What is FinTech?

FinTech is a dynamic segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology sectors where technology-focused start-ups and new market entrants innovate the products and services currently provided by the traditional financial services industry. As such, FinTech is gaining significant momentum and causing disruption to the traditional value chain. In fact, funding of FinTech start-ups more than doubled in 2015, reaching $12.2 billion, up from $5.6 billion in 2014, based on the companies included on our DeNovo platform. Cutting-edge FinTech companies and new market activities are redrawing the competitive landscape, blurring the lines that define players in the FS sector.

Our objectives and approach

This report assesses the rise of new technologies in the FS sector, the potential impact of FinTech on market players and those players’ attitudes toward the latest technological developments. Additionally, the report offers strategic responses to this ever-changing environment.

Our analysis is based on the following:

  1. Primary data derived from the results of a global survey that includes feedback from a broad range of players in the world’s top financial institutions—For this study, we surveyed 544 respondents, principally chief executive officers (CEOs), heads of innovation, chief information officers (CIOs) and top-tier managers involved in digital and technological transformation. Our survey was distributed to leaders in various segments of the FS industry in 46 countries.
  2. Insights and proprietary data from DeNovo, PwC’s Strategy& platform, composed of a 50-member team of FinTech subject matter specialists, strategists, equity analysts, engineers and technologists with access to more than 40,000 public and proprietary data sources.

In the first section, we explore FS market participants’ perspectives on disruption. Next, we’ll highlight the main emerging FinTech trends in the various FS industries and the readiness of the market to respond to these trends. Finally, we’ll offer suggestions about how market players should strategically approach FinTech.

The Epicenter of Disruption

New digital technologies are in the process of reshaping the value proposition of existing financial products and services. While we should not underestimate the capacity of incumbents to assimilate innovative ideas, the disruption of the financial sector is clearly underway. And consumer banking and payments, already on the disruption radar, will be the most exposed in the near future, followed by insurance and asset management.

Disruption targets mostly consumer banking and payments

In keeping with the changes already underway, the majority of our survey participants see consumer banking as well as fund transfer and payments as the sectors most likely to be disrupted over the next five years.

In consumer and commercial lending, for example, the emergence of online platforms allows individuals and businesses to lend and borrow between each other. Lending innovation also manifests in alternative credit models, use of non-traditional data sources and powerful data analytics to price risks, rapid customer-centric lending processes and lower operating costs.

In recent years, the payments industry has also experienced a high level of disruption with the surge of new technology-driven payment processes, new digital applications that facilitate easier payments, alternative processing networks and the increased use of electronic devices to transfer money between accounts.

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Asset management and insurance are also on the disruption radar

Although a high level of disruption triggered by FinTech is already beginning to reshape the nature of lending and payment practices, a second wave of disruption is making inroads in the asset management and insurance sectors. Our survey found that this perception is confirmed by insiders. Nearly half of insurers and asset and wealth managers consider their respective industries to be the most disrupted. When asked which part of the FS sector is the most likely to be disrupted by FinTech over the next five years, 74% of insurance companies identified their own industry, while only 26% of players from other sectors agreed; 51% of asset managers said their industry will be disrupted, while only 31% of other players agreed.

However, there seems to be a perception gap here. Professionals from other industries do not see the same level of disruption in these areas. The fact that only insiders are aware of this situation, while outsiders don’t perceive it, could indicate the disruption is in its very early stages. Even so, venture capitalists are looking very closely at start-ups dedicated to reinventing the way we invest money and buy insurance. Annual investments in InsurTech startups have increased fivefold over the past three years, with cumulative funding of InsurTechs reaching $3.4 billion since 2010, based on companies followed in our DeNovo platform.

The pace of change in the global insurance industry is accelerating more quickly than could have been envisaged. The industry is at a pivotal juncture as it grapples with changing customer behavior, new technologies and new distribution and business models.

The investment industry is also being pulled into the vortex of vast technological developments. The emergence of data analytics in the investment space has enabled firms to home in on investors and deliver tailored products and automated investing. Additionally, innovations in lending and equity crowdfunding are providing access to asset classes formerly unavailable to individual investors, such as commercial real estate.

Customer-centricity is fueling disruption

As clients are becoming accustomed to the digital experience offered by companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, they expect the same level of customer experience from their financial services providers. FinTech is riding the waves of disruption with solutions that can better address customer needs by offering enhanced accessibility, convenience and tailored products. In this context, the pursuit of customer-centricity has become a main priority, and it will help to meet the needs of digital native clientele.

Over the next decade, the average FS consumer profile will change dramatically as the Baby Boomer generation ages and generations X and Y assume more significant roles in the global economy. The latter group, also known as “Millennials” (those born between 1980 and 2000), is bringing radical shifts to client demographics, behaviors and expectations. Its preference for a state-of-the-art customer experience, speed and convenience will further accelerate the adoption of FinTech solutions. Millennials seem to be bringing a higher degree of customer-centricity to the entire financial system, a shift that is being crystallized in the DNA of FinTech companies. While 53% of financial institutions believe that they are fully customer-centric, this share exceeds 80% for FinTech respondents. In this respect, 75% of our respondents confirmed that the most important impact FinTech will have on their businesses is an increased focus on the customer.

This post was co-written by: John Shipman, Dean Nicolacakis, Manoj Kashyap and Steve Davies.